Emerald Lake is a beautiful lake lying right at the edge of the Absaroka-Beartooth
Wilderness Area. The lake is at the very end of the forest service
road that follows West
Emerald Lake receives quite a bit of fishing pressure. Additionally,
heavily used trailheads into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area begin
right at the lake. As a result, anglers in search of solitude will be
disappointed due to the large amounts of people who manage to find their
way to this otherwise isolated lake.
That all said, Emerald Lake can provide for non-stop fishing courtesy
of the extensive fish stocking program. Each year, Emerald Lake is heavily
stocked with small rainbows that, nearly starving in this clear, shallow,
low nutrient lake, will take just about anything. Mornings and evenings
are the best time to fly fish Emerald Lake due to the lower winds.
Emerald Lake is a small lake and is quite shallow. Since the lake also
lies right next to the road, it is an ideal lake for floating with a float
boat, canoe or inflatable
raft. There is no boat ramp, so leave the big motor powered boats
Camping is not a problem at Emerald Lake. A campground exists at Emerald
Lake and numerous unofficial campsites exist both along the road as well
as around the lake itself. Access to the lake is easy - just drive up
the forest service road along West Rosebud Creek. The road can be quite
bumpy and dusty at times, so be prepared for a rather long ride.
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